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A Very Thin Line: Review

"A Very Thin Line" Review

by Neel Trivedi

"Three gunshots rang through the air, causing me to stumble and lose one of my shoes. My front tooth hit the pavement..."

The lines above would have fit like a glove had they been from a fictional tale of suspense and action. But they're not.

Instead, they describe the beginning of a real and haunting incident in Rohan Sharma's riveting memoir about the trauma of mental health, coming of age and ultimately, accepting yourself as who you are.

Sharma's book, "A Very Thin Line," recounts his engrossing story of a mistake made under the influence of bipolar disorder that ultimately sent him to prison for twenty-three months.

Along the way, we go through a journey of a scared and vulnerable young man who utilizes the negative experience to come out of it with a new-found courage, maturity and wisdom. In describing that journey, Sharma also shares a fair amount of self-help philosophies that can serve as a motivation under any context of life.

We also see a very candid expose of how incompetently society attempts to solve the perils of mental health despite the modern-day accessibility of prodigious knowledge about it.

Sharma's informal and conversational writing style makes for a fast-paced read and paints a vivid picture as if he's sitting right beside you, telling you his story in person.

There have been many impressive memoirs about mental health. Very few, however, take those memoirs and add an extra layer of the confinement of prison.

Under that context, it wouldn't be wrong to say that not since "Prozac Nation" has a memoir expressed a more fitting amalgamation of the vile truth of having a mental illness and coming out victorious in spite of it as well as because of it.

In spite of the main subject matter being very grim and dark at times, "A Very Thin Line" beautifully juxtaposes Sharma's story with the feeling of optimism and believing in yourself for anyone who's ever felt stuck between a rock and a hard place due to a mental illness.

A quote Sharma states towards the end aptly describes the feeling you're left with: "If you happen to be in a room full of intimidating looks... you can always count on your reflection to smile back. Always."


Neel Trivedi writes for <